Professor Dan Bradley elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Posted on: 16 May 2024

Professor Bradley, a geneticist whose pioneering work with ancient DNA has helped to bring stories of early human and animal evolution to life, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Professor Dan Bradley, smiling in a garden on a sunny day.

For over 30 years Prof. Bradley has unearthed previously hidden information about the evolution of domesticated animals, which has yielded detailed narratives around the likely influence of early farming practices on the genetic structure of a plethora of species, such as goats, sheep and cattle.

Additionally, his work with ancient human DNA has prised secrets loose about the origins and evolution of Irish people, as well as those from other countries around the globe.

In addition to nurturing the careers of other geneticists interested in this field, his collaborative work has resulted in widespread media coverage and fascinated countless readers. From explaining how major migrations led to blue eyes and other traits becoming common in Ireland some 4,000 years ago to shedding unprecedented light on the culture of the ancient tomb builders of Newgrange, his work continues to fascinate and amaze.

Dan Bradley, Professor of Population Genetics at Trinity, said: "This is a tremendous honour.  It has been wonderful to work on such great projects in Trinity and with such talented people."  

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry.

“From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges.

“It is an honour to have them join the Fellowship.”

Prof. Bradley, who in 2020 was awarded the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal in the Life Sciences, is among the 90 exceptional researchers from across the world to have been afforded the honour of Fellowship in this year’s intake, announced today. Recognised for their invaluable contributions to science, the elected Fellows are leaders in their fields.

Media Contact:

Thomas Deane | Media Relations | | +353 1 896 4685